Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 03-01-2011, 01:11   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Balboa, Panama and northbound
Boat: Baba 35
Posts: 14
Cruisin' for a Bruisin'

Alright, I'm aware that I get into thing a little precipitously. I began sailing about a year ago, with the intention of living aboard while finishing school and then cruising before starting career-type work. In the mean time, I've have an accepted offer on what looks to be a beautiful blue water boat... in Panama (Survey & sea trials to be done shortly). The broker indicated that the seller would be willing to begin the trip back with me as an introduction to the boat, for which I am very grateful. I'm hoping for 2 - 3 weeks, but will be happy with whatever I can get.
I've read several several cruising books, Hal Roth, Tor Pinney, and Beth Leonard as well as a few others. These books are packed with great information, but I've had a hard time picking out skills specific cruising skills. In the end, I suspect there is no substitute for experience, but I have kind of limited opportunities to gain that for the time being. So, instead, I was wondering what you folks might consider the the five or ten most useful cruising skills and possibly books that cover them?

I know that sailing back from Central America is a little overly ambitions so please don't be too hard on me. I'm hoping that a lot of academic preparation will make that couple of weeds sailing with the current owner that much more fruitful. Thanks for taking the time to read this and look forwards to reading any of your suggestions.

Thank you,

Jason
__________________

__________________
Sharkbrain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011, 03:04   #2
Moderator
 
Pete7's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Solent, England
Boat: Moody 31
Posts: 8,561
Images: 14
Hi and welcome to CF

In the time you have left I suggest you pick up a couple of basic sailing books rather than "adventure" types. You need basics of sail handling and perhaps navigation.

If you accept that you are the crew and the former owner is still the skipper even after you have bought her, you should be fine. He might have a few eccentric ideas of how he has always done things, but there is probably a reason behind it. If he can't make it al the way, just choose a delivery skipper to assist you for the final leg.

You will learn so much from others helping you sail her home. Which coast are you heading up and were too?

I like this one for sail setting but there are lots of other good ones. Actually I have two copies because I thought I had lost it, so now one at home and one on the boat.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sailpower-Sh...4049296&sr=8-2

Pete
__________________

__________________
Pete7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011, 04:30   #3
Registered User
 
Bill_E's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New Mexico and Puerto Rico
Boat: Sunbeam, 37, Ziamar
Posts: 300
I agree, get the best basic sailing skill books. There are two ASA books, Sailing Fundamentals and Cruising Fundamentals that are good. The Colgate school Cruising book is also very good. If you have time, take a one week cruising class from an ASA school or from Colgate. They aren't dirt cheap but they can give you some fundamental information. I took the Colgate cruising class and really enjoyed it.

You didn't mention where in Panama the boat is located nor where you are headed. That may make some difference. Don't be so sure that the broker is giving you the straight story on the present owner's willingness to sail back with you or even on all of the boat details. Another thing you might do is post on this forum in the crew positions available. You may well find some folks with the right kind of experience who are willing to go along for airfare and food. It's pretty cold in the US and Panama is likely to be pretty nice this time of year.

A trip like that requires some sailing skills but also a lot of planning, navigation, provisioning, boat repair skills, and things you've never thought of. It's a lot different than a week's bareboat charter.

Good luck! I'd be interested in hearing a bit more: like what kind of boat and the starting point and destination. BTW...How's your Spanish?

Bill
__________________
Don't believe everything you think
Bill_E is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011, 05:33   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,379
Hi Jason,

First welcome and congratulations on the pending purchase. Answers to your questions, comments and suggestions, in no particular order. Not intended to say you shouldn't do this but to make sure you are aware of the risks and magnitude of your undertaking.

Cruising skills
1. Navigation. Not just how to read a GPS but DR, reading charts, how to avoid reefs, rocks and shallows.
2. Anchoring
3. Safety and general seamanship including
- avoiding ships
- reefing, how and when (early)
- what little things can sink your boat like like loose hoses, through-hull problems, etc
- learn the wind and weather patterns for the route

Comments and suggestions

Panama to anywhere in the US is a pretty ambitious sail for a first time trip. Much of it upwind and in an area where the winds and currents can be pretty strong.

Buying a new boat and immediately taking off on a long voyage is usually not a good idea. I would say 99% of the boats sold are NOT ready to go. At the very least you need to learn the boats systems and idiosyncrasies, especially since you are new to boats in general. Boats, unlike cars, are not all the same or standard. Even a new car you need to figure out minor differences like headlight switch or window buttons in a Ford are not in the same place as in a Chevy. For a boat take this concept times 1000.

If the seller only plans to go part way you might want to consider finding an experienced sailor to join you for the rest of the trip.

Good luck and have fun.

Skip
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011, 13:31   #5
Don't ask if you can't handle it
 
sailorboy1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: On the boat somewhere
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 12,312
Since this is going to be a first trip I recommend that you start trying different motion illness medinces to see how you handle each ;-)
__________________
sailorboy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011, 15:38   #6
Registered User
 
Bill_E's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New Mexico and Puerto Rico
Boat: Sunbeam, 37, Ziamar
Posts: 300
"I recommend that you start trying different motion illness medinces to see how you handle each "

I hadn't thought about that but I heartily agree! I have two (prescription) recommendations: meclazine and transderm scop. The latter is a 3 day patch that you put behind your ear. I've also tried sturgeron, which is not available in the US but is used throughout much of the rest of the world. All of these work for me with little or no side effects. But, it can take a week to get good sea legs and seasickness can happen even to the most seasoned sailor. It is incapacitating at best and life threatening at worst. And, as noted, Panama to the US is going to be uphill and probably pretty uncomfortable.

Bill
__________________
Don't believe everything you think
Bill_E is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011, 15:55   #7
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK/Portugal
Posts: 20,210
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to boatman61
pirate

You say you began sailing about a year ago... but was that just a day sail... or have you been out more or less every chance you had in that year... more than 5 times.. and what in....
Your not giving us anything to go on here...
If you have mastered the basics of sailhandling and have developed a suitable respect for the wind and sea... know basic navigation and reading the weather looking at the sky.... not just NOAA... you should do ok as long as the folk with you have some knowledge/experience of working/moving about on boats... just take it easy, reef the main down every night at dusk to minmise deck work in the dark if it blows up a storm.
The art is in getting there... not how fast you do it...
Thats for Racers, Daytrippers and D'Heads.... seamen know better...
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011, 16:33   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Balboa, Panama and northbound
Boat: Baba 35
Posts: 14
Hi Everyone,
Thank you all for your responses. Sorry I left out some key info. The boat is on the Caribbean side of Panama and I'll be sailing it to the Pacific North West. I intend to start out in early May and give myself 8 - 12 weeks. So not overly ambitious at all really...gulp
To be more explicit about my sailing experience, I took the ASA basic keel boating class last spring, and prior to that began crewing on a 30' s/v one to two times per week. This as dropped off as winter has set in, but I'm going out about 2x per month these days. I'm comfortable setting and trimming sails, have a good understanding of how they generate lift at all points of sail, and have practiced reefing the main only a couple of times with the skipper.
I've also gone through the Ham technician license manual and will be taking the test here at the end of the month and hopefully, by march will be ready for the general exam.

As far as delusions of skipperdom go, I haven't any. To date, I've pretty much been a professional student, and as long as the current owner is there to tell me what to do, I'm there to do it and learn.
I really hadn't considered motion sickness meds, an excellent suggestion that could very well avert a lot of unpleasantness!

I don't have any experience with marine navigation. I grew up hiking in the Adirondacks, part of which is being able to triangulate your position on a map by taking bearings off of landmarks. I may be trying to convince myself here as much as anyone else, but I suspect that the principles of marine navigation are the same even if the details differ. Either way, it's now now officially on the list of skills to acquire... soon. I'm off to the library!

Thanks again!

Jason
__________________
Sharkbrain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011, 16:40   #9
RTB
Registered User
 
RTB's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Home port Kemah, TX Currently in Brunswick Georgia
Boat: Hunter 36
Posts: 1,509
Images: 2
Jason, I'll be nice and ask if you are serious?
RTB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011, 16:44   #10
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,770
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
you picked a bouncy and bumpy bash for a first time long haul. you will probably need at least one other soul to aid your trip-- will be very tiring-- should head out a few hundred miles and then head north-- for less bashing times. goood luck and have fun..
zeehag is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011, 17:00   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Balboa, Panama and northbound
Boat: Baba 35
Posts: 14
I appreciate the kindness. I know I'm being somewhat foolish, but I'm also being serious. I'd intended to take more time preparing for this, but a bunch of other aspects of my life have lined up to make this natural gap. I'm also very afraid that if I put it off something will come up and as so often seems to happen, at least in my life, later turns to never. I just don't want to be sitting next to some dude at a bar 15 yrs from now telling him how I almost had this great or awful or exciting experience.
'I coulda been somebody, I coulda been a contender'

So I'm leaping and I'm trying to use the time I've got left to prepare myself as best I can.
__________________
Sharkbrain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011, 17:09   #12
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nevada City. CA
Boat: Sceptre 41
Posts: 3,745
Images: 9
Jason:

8 to 12 weeks is not a very long time to get to the PNW from Panama. You are looking at a distance of over 2700 nm. It is also up wind and up current. As an example I sailed from Cabo San Lucas to San Diego. Because of strong winds etc. It took me over two weeks. That is a small part of your trip and you have other substantial obsticles to cross or round (Tehauntepec, Cabo Falso, Pt Conception, Cape Mendicino, Cape Disappointment). This is not a comprehensive list. I assume it is possible to get lots of luck and have a good trip but you are looking at some tough sailing. Another option that would be more pleasant would be to sail to Hawaii and then from Hawaii to the PNW. You might want tot get a hold of World Crusising Routes, by Jimmy Cornell or Ocean Passages. I don't know what kind of boat you are looking at but assuming you are not a trust fund baby you can't be looking at a boat that does more then 7 knots. When you hit the 2 knot CA current you'll be down to 5 knots. If you start at 5 knots you'll be down to 3. I don't want to discourage you from doing the trip but I think that there is quite a bit of research, book learning and practical experience that you will need before or during this trip. Here is a blog about a boat that did the trip -- January | 2010 | Ocean Gybe They were taking there time but from the West Coast of Panama till they arrived in Canada was January till August. They went the Hawaii route which is longer but better winds. They had also just completed a circumnavigation.
__________________
Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
Charlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011, 17:09   #13
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,770
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
is there a specific reason to take it by sailing it to pnw or do you intend to use it in a different place in htis world>. if ye wanna sail caribean and gulf coast--places not to miss, then keep her there and travel to her as needed and learn then truk her to pnw, if ye realllly has to be in coldville--is pretty there and has lotsa gooood COLD cruising places--?????
or some other alternative????
going uphill to pnw is a bash at best.....
zeehag is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011, 17:17   #14
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK/Portugal
Posts: 20,210
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to boatman61
pirate

Ok... lets assume you can handle the boat.... going through the canals just driving the boat.... no sweat
Nav's your weak point but you do have strengths in using maps 4 hiking... charts are not that different.. just give depth instead of altitude... take two hand held GPS's and loadsa batteries... forget the Chartplotter and all that other **** for now.. play/read up on those as you go...
Get some good charts for 100 miles N and S of where you'd like to make landfall, and a passage chart for the E Pacific.
Strap 6 x 25litre drums of fuel each side of your side decks (central) then as Zee recommended... head wnw until you hit favourable winds to go Nth....
Plot your position every 8hrs on the chart with gps position and when you can beam reach your destination head in...
Or.... do whatever the 'Locals' like Bash and Rebelheart recommend...
I'm just a Limey know it all...
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011, 17:38   #15
Registered User
 
Bill_E's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New Mexico and Puerto Rico
Boat: Sunbeam, 37, Ziamar
Posts: 300
I'll second the comments that 8-12 weeks may be optimistic. As far as Pacific sailing, I've only sailed in the Sea of Cortez and raced in the SF Bay (a zillion years ago) but folks in the Sea of Cortez will tell you that it's a hell of a run from Cabo to San Diego. I've spent weeks sitting in a marina waiting for weather.

Offshore could be the way to go! The worst thing you can do is to set a timetable. You can pick destinations or you can pick time but you can't pick both. And, I agree that once you are on the boat you will quickly figure out that it isn't at all ready for the trip. You could easily spend a month shaking down and provisioning.

Having said those somewhat negative things...it sounds like a great adventure and I envy you the chance to do it.

Bill
__________________

__________________
Don't believe everything you think
Bill_E is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cruisin' The Loop on Biodiesel coachkip Meets & Greets 32 26-03-2008 18:58
Gadfly II is goin' cruisin...! StevenPalmer51 Meets & Greets 4 28-04-2007 04:53



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:24.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.